As of September 1, 2014, individuals applying for certification in speech-language pathology must have completed a course in each of the following areas: biological science, physical science (chemistry or physics), statistics, and behavioral/social sciences. Applicants must also have been assessed to ensure that they have achieved the knowledge and skills outlined in the 2014 Standards for Certification in Speech-Language Pathology in a graduate program holding accreditation or accreditation candidacy status by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Achievement of the knowledge areas outlined in the standards is typically through completion of academic course work. Skill areas in the standards would typically be achieved through participation in clinical practicum (400 clock hours total, including 25 hours of clinical observation, 375 clock hours in direct client/patient contact of which 325 are at the graduate level); however, academic programs may assess compliance with the standards in any manner they wish. Many of the assignments completed as part of your academic coursework will aid in developing the skills areas outlined in the standards.
Upon completion of the academic course work and clinical practicum requirements, individuals applying for certification in speech-language pathology must complete a Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship (SLPCF) experience under the mentorship of an individual holding ASHA certification. This experience must consist of the equivalent of 36 weeks of full-time clinical practice, with full-time defined as 35 hours per week.
Applicants for certification in speech-language pathology must also successfully complete the Praxis examination in speech-language pathology that is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Results of the examination must be submitted to ASHA directly from ETS no more than five years prior to submission of the application for certification and no less than two years following completion of the knowledge and skills required for certification. Once certification has been granted, individuals must comply with the Certification Maintenance requirements outlined in the 2014 standards and must also remit a yearly certification fee.
Students completing graduate training from an accredited or candidacy accredited program become eligible for certification by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). The Association awards the Certificate of Clinical Competence to educationally and professionally qualified applicants. Typically, individuals having met the certification requirements for ASHA will be eligible for state licensing. Some states, however, require coursework in addition to that included in the program's curriculum, in order to work in public school settings. Resources related to state licensure requirements and state Department of Education requirements are available at the website below. Please be advised that laws, regulations and policies may change at any time, so always check with the state you plan on practicing in for the most up-to-date information.